According to the American Library Association (ALA), next week (October 1-7) is “Banned” Books Week. Even though the “most challenged” books featured in “Banned” Books Week materials are available in school librariespublic libraries, and bookstores across the country, PEN America, an advocacy organization, claims there were 3,362 instances of so-called “book bans” between July 2022 and July 2023.

It is no surprise that the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) amplify these organizations’ false and misleading claims and propagate lies to parents and citizens.

Here are some fallacious claims and the truths that disprove them:

Claim: Thousands of books are banned in schools.

Truth: PEN America fudges the definition of book “bans.” If a book is temporarily moved for review and later returned, replaced on assigned reading lists, or moved to a higher grade level, PEN misleadingly claims this book is outright banned. 

Claim: Bookshelves are empty and reminiscent of libraries under authoritarian regimes. 

Truth: According to The Book Ban Mirage analysis, 74% of books PEN listed as “banned” were still present and available in school libraries nationwide.  

The AFT has partnered with First Books, an organization dedicated to providing explicit and age-inappropriate books to teachers at low cost, since 2011. Parents can see if these “banned” books are available in school libraries with Follett’s Destiny Discover Collection. To learn more about the book ban hoax, read Without A Book-Banning Scare, Bureaucrats Would Need To Get Real JobsBook Banning Is A Tangled Concept In A Politicized America, and About Those ‘Book Bans’

Independent Women’s Forum will be posting “Banned” Books Week content throughout the week at Check out IWF’s Two Truths And A Lie: Banned Books Week here.

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